Road Trip Activism… #BoycottAutismSpeaks

The other day H and I went on a road trip to Bellingham, WA. We talked long, as is our habit on lengthy drives, and had the chance to explore all sorts of topics. We also nabbed the chance to take a few photos in front of an Autism Speaks billboard.

We have driven by this billboard so many times – and each time I have cringed as we discuss the rhetoric promoted by Autism Speaks, because I wonder if the positive messages we give our son are enough to mitigate the constant barrage of negativity in the media.

But this time we stopped, and when we did so, I could see that H stood a little taller…

H and I will feel different from now on when we pass that sign because we shifted things to create a message of pride.  This action, though it may have been relatively small,  empowers him and builds his understanding that he has a right to rail against stigma and to fight for social justice.

ASBillboard4.jpgASBILLBOARD3.jpg

It was an opportunity to encourage and support H in rejecting negative stigma.

I want my son to stand strong against organizations and messages that work to tear him down, or shame him because of his neurology.

I want to my son to know that he is accepted…

That he is not broken…

That we all need support…

That he has a voice and perspectives that are valued…

That he has a right to be heard…

ASBillboard2.jpgImage description: A young man who is wearing a hoodie is standing in a grassy field looking toward an Autism Speaks Billboard which contains the 1 in 110 statistic about diagnosis and urges people to “Learn the signs.” A #BoycottAutismSpeaks sign has been added under the billboard. Text on image reads: “I want my son to stand strong against organizations and messages and that work to tear him down and shame him, or tell him he is broken, because of his neurology.I want him to feel proud that he is growing up to be an Autistic adult. That is why I #BoycottAutismSpeaks”
 

I want H to feel proud that he is growing up to be an Autistic adult.

That is why I boycott Autism Speaks!

Please check out these petitions and links to find out more and take action to support the Boycott Autism Speaks movement:

• Website: boycottautismspeaks.com

• On facebook: Boycott Autism Speaks

• On Twitter: @Boycott_AS (check out hashtags #BoycottAutismSpeaks and #EducateSesame)

• Petition: To the Corporate Sponsors of Autism Speaks

• Petition: to Sesame Street Reconsider Partnership with Autism Speaks

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30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

About Leah Kelley

Leah Kelley, MEd., Educator, Ed.D. Student, Parent, Activist, Speaker. Writes blog: 30 Days of Autism. Projects support social understanding & Neurodiversity paradigm. Co producer of documentary: Vectors of Autism. Twitter: @leah_kelley Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/leahkelley13/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/30-Days-of-Autism-Leah-Kelley/154311301315814
This entry was posted in ableism, acceptance, Activist, Autism, autism stigma, Autistic, Boycott Autism Speaks and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Road Trip Activism… #BoycottAutismSpeaks

  1. alexforshaw says:

    What a great demonstration by H that AS doesn’t speak for autistic individuals.

    That billboard is a perfect illustration of how seemingly innocuous messages from AS simply serve to draw people in to a harmful (to autistic people) environment where we are portrayed as broken burdens on families and society that need to be be “cured” or worse. I’m proud to #BoycottAutismSpeaks.

    Like

  2. aspielazuli says:

    Reblogged this on aspielazuli's Blog and commented:
    A strong young man with heart & brains, stands against stigma of ‘Autism Speaks’

    Like

  3. aspielazuli says:

    Great job, H!
    I am so happy about this.
    Greetings from Germany,
    where autistics are also affected by the hateful message of Autism Speaks.
    Ruuby.

    Like

  4. Leah Kelley says:

    Hi Ruuby,
    This is H. I am glad you like the pictures. Thank you for telling me. My mom showed me that you shared the message on your blog too. That is a message of hope. Thank you.
    From H

    Like

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